Want to Learn a Foreign Language? You Can With These Tips and Tricks!

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“Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.” ―William Arthur Ward

So, what are you curious about? Are you curious about how to create an app for your smartphone? Or, do you want to learn how to cook Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon? Or, how about learning a foreign language?

If you’ve always wanted to challenge yourself and learn a foreign language – then do it! What’s stopping you? There are so many great reasons that you should give it a try! And, when you follow these tips and tricks, you can be on your way to mastering whatever new language you choose.

  • Speak It as Much as You Can: Most people want to learn a new language so they can converse with others. So, that means you need to speak in your new language as much as you can! Find conversation groups, search online for people who want to practice speaking – you can even talk to yourself – just talk!
  • Take an Intensive Class: Sure, you can take a class that meets once per week for 20 weeks, or you can find an intensive class and jump right in. Studies have shown that those who take intensive foreign language classes tend to retain more of what they learn and are able to better put what they learn into practice.
  • Seek Out a List of Common Words: Every language has a list of common words that are used most often when communicating. Find that list in your new language – and use them. Create flashcards to learn them, use them in sentences – just use them as much as possible.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes: One common issue that adult foreign language learners say they have is a fear of making mistakes. Guess what? You need to get over this. You will make mistakes. And it’s okay. No one is going to fault you for making a mistake while you are learning something new. Most likely, you’re going to be commended for your effort! So…GO FOR IT! Use the language!
  • Look for Patterns: Most languages have patterns – so look for them. Patterns help make language acquisition easier and will help speed the process along.
  • Learn to Ask, “How do you say…” in Your New Language: There will always be words you don’t know, but when you learn how to ask, “How do you say…” in your new language, you will find that people are happy to help you. 
  • Exchange Language Skills: Be on the lookout for people who may want to exchange language skills. You can share your knowledge of English, and they can share their native language with you. 
  • Find Your Motivation: Why do you want to learn a new language? Do you want to travel? Do you need it for work? Do you want to watch a great foreign movie without subtitles? Whatever your reason, let that be your motivation.
  • Actively Listen: Listening is an equally important skill when it comes to learning a language. Always be an active listener. Listen to what’s being said and use context, body language, and other indicators to help you understand what is being communicated.
  • Find Apps to Help: There’s an app for just about everything – and there are many apps to help you learn a foreign language. Find a couple that you like and have fun practicing with them. They’re great for the commute to work, your lunch break, or a quick before-bed refresher. 
  • Make It Fun: Make sure you are having fun! Life is too short to spend time on something that’s not fun! 

Learning a foreign language is not only a practical skill but a great way to keep your brain engaged. Use these tips and tricks to help you become a master of Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, or whatever language you decide to learn!

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